The Last Children of Mill Creek

By Vivian Gibson

Vivian Gibson, MA ’12, grew up in St. Louis’s Mill Creek Valley neighborhood, which was razed in 1959 to build a highway. In her moving memoir, Gibson recreates the everyday lived experiences of her large family, including her seven siblings, her crafty college-educated mother, who moved to St. Louis as part of the Great Migration, and her at-times forbidding father, who worked two jobs to keep them all warm and fed. With an eye for telling detail, she sketches scenes populated by her friends, shop owners, teachers, and others who made Mill Creek into a warm, tight-knit, African-American community, and reflects upon what it means that Mill Creek was destroyed in the name of racism disguised as “progress.”

Listen to Gibson talk more about life in Mill Creek and her book on St. Louis on the Air.

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